Even if your workout goals are not specifically focused on increasing muscle strength or gaining muscle mass, most experts recommend adding resistance training or weightlifting to your cardio routine at least two or three times a week. As with almost everything in life, balance is key, and a singular focus on cardio development can lead to inadvertent neglect of some large muscle groups. If muscles aren’t strengthened in proportion to your heart and lungs, injury can sometimes result. It’s also a good idea to make sure you focus an adequate amount of time on developing both your upper and lower body strength.
Adding moderate weight lifting to a running or swimming regimen can help maintain balance and coordination, and can also help you develop and maintain bone strength and overall skeletal health. Weightlifting can also offer a motivational benefit, since changing things up can prevent boredom, add new challenges, and increase endorphins. If you add weightlifting to your routine, avoid injury by planning ahead. Start at an appropriate level with proper supervision and work your way up. If I Intend to Do Both Lifting and Cardio, Does the Order Matter? If you intend to take on cardio and weight training in the same workout, you should adjust your schedule in accordance with your goals. If you’re training for an endurance event or focusing on building our stamina, tackle the cardio portion of your workout first. Lifting before running may lead to muscle fatigue that you might not recognize, which can lead potentially lead to injury if you lift too much or too fast. If you’re working on building muscle mass and strength, you might want to lift first. Muscle building requires high amounts of glycogen, and glycogen reserves can be depleted by a long run or cardio routine.